The very first word of the Qur'an is 'READ'! It didn't start with anything else - like 'prayers', 'charity' or even 'family life' - which is what we are all preoccupied with in our lives today - but it was READ! And who was it revealed to? Not a great scholar of his time, not a scientist, not a king or ruler of his land - but to an unlettered man - who went on to become the greatest man to ever have walked on our planet - he was the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) the mercy to all of mankind, the Prophet of Islam.
READ! Its a powerful word! Just take a minute - (just one) and reflect on this word - deeply....
What are you all doing right now? Reading this blog entry. Who taught us to read and how did we learn to read? Seems like a lifetime ago right? - because it comes to us naturally. But, once upon a time we all went through a process - to learn to Read - and once we mastered it - we became whole - complete humans. We were able to pick up any book and just read it - the words flowed on the paper and we could understand them.
Where would you and I be today if we couldn't read - lost? Looking for answers? Wasting our lives and searching for the purpose of our lives?
Read! And Your Lord Is The Most Generous! (Surah Alaq 96: 3)
For truly Allah (swt) is the Most Generous! He created us and knew what we would need to survive and how to fulfil our aim and purpose in this world.
By reading men and women have contributed to society, to the world and made many discoveries and scientific/medical/social/political advances.
There is a purpose for everything - and surely there was a purpose to 'Read, and your Lord is the most Generous!'
Allah (swt) blessed us with the ability to read - so we can read His words, the Qur'an - understand them and implement its teachings in our lives.
But did you know that there are many many people in this world who can't read? Young children in developing countries who have never even seen a book?
So we ask ourselves - are we actually fulfilling our obligations? If READ was the first word - and Allah (swt) wanted us to become the best of people - to discover hidden treasures - to made medical, scientific advances - which help humanity - then what are we doing in return to help humanity? Just because you and I went to school - doesn't mean everyone is this world has this opportunity. If people can't read then how will they understand Allah's words and do as He commands?
IQRA - And Your Lord Is The Most Generous! We need to re-read this word, understand it and take action. We need to help those who can't read the Qur'an to read it - and help them understand Allah's words and His Beauty. We need to help the children around the world to read - and just before doing that - we need to help our own children in our own families - help them to read - to understand - to implement - to appreciate - and fulfil our duty at home - then we need to get-together - maybe all of us reading this and set up a national and international 'Reading Foundation' - where we travel up and down our countries to help children read and travel to developing countries and countries suffering from wars - to help those children to read.
Allah (swt) is the most Generous and He has blessed us with this gift - the gift of reading - so lets share this gift and give it to those less fortunate than ourselves. Islam is seen by some as barbaric, a terrorist religion, who oppresses its women and girls - and you know there are many who will use the name of Islam to oppress our women and children - but we need to teach them - teach them the first words which were taught to out Prophet (pbuh) - Read! And maybe we can change their hearts - maybe they can't read so don't realise the Beauty of Allah (swt) and His religion - so it is our collective duty to help people to Read.
The Month of Ramadhan is the Month of the Qur'an - we read it, reflect upon its meaning, study it, promise to implement its teachings in our lives.
Just imagine...you pick up your copy of the Qur'an - open it - start to Read it - and....you can't read no more...you just can't....you try....but the words are alien to you and meaningless...and those tears role down your cheeks...but you can't do nothing - because the gift of reading that was blessed upon you has...gone...taken back by...the rightful Owner...
Is this what we want?...
This is how children and people around the world feel - those who can't read...and guess what? We've been keeping this gift to ourselves and haven't shared it with others - who just like you and me - what to open their copy of the Qur'an and read the words of Allah - the Mot Gracious, the Most Merciful...
Ramadhan 09 is drawing to an end - after reading this blog entry - what will one of your goals be for the next year?
There's still hope! Lets give a gift to someone this ramadhan - a gift for a lifetime - the gift of reading the Qur'an...
IQRA - And Your Lord Is The Most Generous....